How I Learned to Knit

When I started knitting, I picked up a pattern book of sampler afghan blocks. I knit 20 different patterns in 12 x 12 inch squares. It was a great way to learn to knit a variety of stitches and I ended up with this soft creamy throw to curl up with on rainy days.

Sampler Afghan

Sampler Afghan Blocks

Pattern Book: Sampler Afghans, Leaflet 932 by Leisure Arts.

How did you learn? Any tried and true methods?

72 thoughts on “How I Learned to Knit

  1. I was taught the basic knitting stitches by my granny and my mum. I recently tried cabling,following a pattern in a magazine. I hope to try more knitting styles in future.

    1. I learned the basic stitches, knits and purls, from the lovely owner of a yarn store. She started me on a very basic baby blanket that alternated knits and purls. Once I had those down, I was ready to experiment.

  2. I taught myself using YouTube videos and books when I was pregnant with my first child. I must say, my first few projects most certainly did not look as lovely as your blanket. 🙂

  3. That is so beautiful and impressive! I think I may need to try some of those to get better at stitches. I learned a long time ago to knit from my mom and then when I picked it up again I remember the basics and then YouTube videos helped me the most.

  4. your blanket looks so soft! I checked a book out of the middleschool library and taught myself on pencils. I was too impaitent to even wait to go to the store to get needles.

    1. Thank you. It honestly didn’t feel ambitious. I think it’s because all I had to do was one square at a time. It was small enough to give me a sense of accomplishment and large enough to make me practice my stitches.

    1. I guess I hadn’t thought about knitting right or left-handed. I usually see knitters fall into those that knit continental style and those that knit “american” style.

  5. that is actually a very nice way to learn to knit, and what a result!
    I learned from my grandmother, when I was 6-7, together with my friend, we sat and knitted scarfs for our dolls, and I remember mine turned out quite funny in the end, there was like a sock heel turning in the middle 🙂

    1. I love the image – both of the little girls knitting dolls clothes and the funny scarf! Those are beautiful memories. My grandmother taught me how to crochet, but only the long beginner chain.

  6. V,

    This is so inspiring. I earned to knit when I was little, taught by my nana and my mom. I still have and treasure a couple of the afghans my mom made over the years. I have been a start and stop knitter all my life with varying levels of success due to a basic lack of confidence, but no more. I treasure all the life lessons yarn teaches.

    After my mom passed away knitting seemed to be the thing that sustained me, and in fact now at the six month mark still is the one thing that brings comfort. In the beginning, I could focus well so kept doing scarves in a basic stocking net stitch. When the ‘wool’ began to clear, I too bought a book and have been practicing the different patterns. Recently finished my first shawl – Breean Miller’s Scalloped Shawl from Malabrigo Book 3, so I guess all those years paid off. I am very encouraged by the results and can’t wait to try another one.

    You continue to be such and inspiration to me. In fact, your blog encouraged me to attend the Friday afternoon knit alongs at Iron Horse in the town where I live. LOVE IT!!!!!

    So thanks. You are amazing, and brave. I look forward to many more fiber adventures.

    Beth

    1. What a wonderful comment. Thank you for sharing. Even though my grandmother crocheted, i still think of her when i’m knitting. I remember the movement of her hands as she chatted with me like I was a grown up. I can sometimes smell her when I knit.

      I’d love to see the scalloped shawl. Is it on your blog? Reply with a link!

      1. I put the picture in my blog. Unfortunately, the colors only look like blue and green. there are many purples and other shades it is gorgeous. I am very proud to have completed it.

        I love the image of your grandmother crocheting. thank you for sharing it.

  7. gorgeous! I think i just changed my mind about using crochet for blankets, now where are those knitting needles?!

  8. I honestly don’t remember when I learned to knit, but I probably taught myself from a book, since that was the only available “technology” at the time… I made several scarves when I was away at college, but didn’t know what happens when you just knit stockinette – so they were really more like 6′ sausages than scarves. My poor brothers – they never said anything about it!
    Now I am thrilled to learn something new with every project and I’m eyeing your beautiful afghan and thinking how nice one would look in my living room…

    1. I know exactly what you mean about the sausage scarfs! I had this beautiful yarn with a nice gold thread running through it and knit a stockinette scarf. I was so disappointed! Live and learn.

  9. Great idea for a beginner knitter. I learned how to knit by making a lot of scarves & a lot of hats. lol Even though I’m not a beginner anymore, I might have to knit a few afghan samplers for myself and make a nice, snuggly blanket too. 🙂 Yours is beautiful!

  10. What a lovely afghan! The first project I ever made was a scarf. I never would have had the determination to finish a whole afghan.

    1. I started with a simple baby blanket with alternating knits and purls. It gets boring after a while but it is great practice on the basics. After a few garter stitch scarves, I had to try something more interesting. That’s when I picked up the afghan pattern book. It was fun seeing all those patterns!

    1. Once you get the hang of knits and purls, the two basic stitches, you can start combining them to make interesting patterns. You’ll have to show us what you make!

  11. This is beautiful. I think cream is the prettiest color to knit in. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog; I really look forward to watching yours! Happy knitting!!

      1. I wish I could knit and hold her at the same time! Yes, soon I’ll post what pattern I used. I was always intimidated by ssk and psso… glad I tried them out. 🙂

  12. What a lovely sampler! Those lace stitches sure are beautiful! I first learned how to knit sometime in the mid 90s from a cousin of mine. I wasn’t hooked at first and didn’t start really knitting until I was in college a few years, probably 2004 or so. To help remember and go beyond the basic knit stitches (everyone I knew in high school received a lovely, long, garter stitch scarf since that’s all I knew how to do:)) I used knittinghelp.com to learn new techniques. There are so many great resources and tutorials on the internet these days!

    1. Thanks! I was surprised that the patterns that looked complicated were often the simplest ones to make.

      It is amazing just how many online resources there are nowadays to learn to knit.

  13. Your afghan is gorgeous! I learned to knit at a local craft store, and after cranking out two scarves and a hat, have pretty much been self-taught since. I find it very relaxing. Don’t you love having a handmade blanket to curl up in on cold nights?

    BTW – thanks for stopping by my blog!

  14. I learned to knit from my mom when I was about 12. She is still inspiring me 40+ years later! We compare projects and share patterns. Its really fun to share the love of knitting with her!

    1. That’s wonderful! My mom does not knit, although she is a very creative, crafty person. It was grandmother who crocheted beautiful afghans and bedspreads. I always think of her when I knit.

    1. I can’t remember exactly. I knit the squares while I was pregnant. I would knit at night after work until I had made enough of them to put the afghan together. It took a while but I didn’t mind. Each pattern was a new experience.

  15. Wow that is one heck of a first project! I learnt to crochet… then knit… out of books… I wouldn’t recommend it as a great introduction to yarn craft but this is why I now teach 🙂

    Love the afgan xxx

    1. Thank you! I do need to clarify that I learned the basics – knits and purls – from the owner of a wonderful yarn store that no longer exists. It was after I had practiced 100s of knits and purls that I started the afghan. It was a great way to expand my newfound skills!

  16. My mother taught me to knit. She always had her knitting needles to hand and I wore many homemade jumpers and cardigans. I probably didn’t appreciate all her efforts at the time.

    1. I love how this is a craft that gets handed down from one generation to the next. One of my nieces picked up knitting in middle school! Every time she takes out her needles, the family says she’s just like me. Love it!

      1. That’s so lovely. I agree and hope it continues to be passed from generation to generation. Knitting seems to be really popular again and I think crochet is making a comeback. I feel really fortunate that my mother and grandmother made things and came from the ‘make do and mend’ generation. Just off to do some crochet.

  17. Thanks for visiting my new little blog. I love how you learnt to knit : the blanket is beautiful and captures lots of memories for you of learning and enjoying the knitting process no doubt. My method has been to learn a new technique each time I pick a new project. I love your blanket idea though : the way all of those techniques come together as one project that you can treasure : fab.

  18. That’s really beautiful…and brave for a first project! I was taught by my mom [in German] simply by doing…so I never could read a pattern! Later, I volunteered at a yarn shop and participated in a few knit-alongs to pick up some skills? Someone told me my gauge was all over the place…and I was devastated!! Now, i knit mostly small items, felt, so tension doesn’t matter!

    1. Just for clarification, my very first project was a simple baby blanket with lots of knit and purl repeats. Once I got the hang of it, the afghan blocks were a perfect way to expand my knitting horizons.

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